Leader BIBLE STUDY. Younger Kids Bible Study Leader Guide LifeWay

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1 Leader BIBLE STUDY God sent the prophet Hosea to speak to Israel a message of God s hatred toward sin and His coming judgment. But God also sent Hosea to bring a message of love a love that never gives up. God used Hosea s own life to show Israel what a never-gives-up kind of love looks like. God told Hosea to marry a prostitute. God told Hosea that his wife would not be faithful to him. She would give birth to children who were conceived with other men. Hosea obeyed God. He chose Gomer as his wife. Just as God said, Gomer was not faithful to Hosea. She went after other lovers. Can you imagine Hosea s grief each time he found his wife with another man? It would have been easier for Hosea to throw up his hands and say, Enough! I m done with you! God s people were no different than Gomer. They were spiritual adulterers. Their hearts chased after other lovers. They loved and worshiped idols, people and things that were not the one true God. It would have been easier for God to throw up His hands and say, Enough! I m done with you! But God s love never gives up. He gave Hosea a love for his wife that compelled him to buy her back from the slave market after all she had done. In the same way, God sought after His unfaithful people even after all they had done. God paid a high price the life of His Son, Jesus to bring them back to Himself. Remember to present the story of Hosea in an age-appropriate way. God used Hosea s unfaithful wife to show the people of Israel that they are unfaithful to Him. God gave Hosea a deep love; Hosea was willing to buy back Gomer even after all she had done. God s love is deep, and it never gives up. He goes after His people and loves them back to Himself. 1 Younger Kids Bible Study Leader Guide Unit 14 Session 2

2 Younger Kids Bible study OVERVIEW Session Title: Hosea, Prophet to Israel Bible Passage: Hosea 1 14 Big Picture Question: How does Hosea remind us of God? God loves us even when we are unfaithful. Key Passage: Jonah 4:2 Unit Christ Connection: Through these prophets we see a picture of the salvation provided through Jesus Christ. Small Group Opening Welcome time Activity page (5 minutes) Session starter (10 minutes) Large Group Leader Countdown Introduce the session (1 minute) Timeline map (1 minute) Big picture question (1 minute) Sing (5 minutes) Key passage (4 minutes) Tell the Bible story (10 minutes) Discussion starter video (3 minutes) The Gospel: God s Plan for Me (optional) Prayer (5 minutes) Small Group Leader Key passage activity (5 minutes) Bible story review (10 minutes) Activity choice (10 minutes) Journal and prayer (5 minutes) 2

3 The BIBLE story Hosea, Prophet to Israel Hosea 1 14 Hosea was a prophet. God gave Hosea a message to tell to the people of Israel. In addition to God s message for Israel, God also gave Hosea instructions for his own life. God told Hosea, Go and marry a woman who will not be faithful to you, and be a father to the children she has with other men. God was going to use Hosea s life to show His people in Israel what they were like. Hosea s wife would love other men instead of Hosea, just like the people of Israel loved and worshiped other gods instead of the one true God. God was asking Hosea to do something very difficult. It is hard to love someone who doesn t love you back! But Hosea obeyed God. He married a woman named Gomer. Gomer became pregnant and gave birth to a son. God told Hosea, Name your son Jezreel. The name Jezreel had a special meaning. It would be a warning to Israel that they would be defeated by their enemies. Next, Gomer had a daughter. God told Hosea to name the baby Loruhamah (LOH-roo HA muh), which means No Mercy. God wanted the people of Israel to know that He was not going to show them mercy anymore. They would get the punishment their sin deserved. Then Gomer had another son. God told Hosea to give him the name Lo-ammi (lo-am igh), which means Not My People. God s message to the Israelites was that they were no longer His people. When God rescued the Israelites from Egypt, He made a covenant with them. He told them, If you obey My commands, I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. But God s people had broken the covenant by not obeying Him. Gomer was not faithful to Hosea. Even though she was his wife, she often ran away. In the same way, God s people said they were committed to God, but they turned away from Him. They worshiped false gods. Hosea might have given up on Gomer, but God told Hosea to go after her. So Hosea found Gomer and paid to get her back. He brought Gomer back home. 3 Younger Kids Bible Study Leader Guide Unit 14 Session 2

4 Stop being unfaithful, Hosea said. Even though Gomer had not loved her husband and only her husband like a wife should, Hosea loved her anyway. God gave Hosea a love that would never give up. God wanted the people of Israel to hear about Hosea and his wife and understand that Israel was no different than Gomer. Israel did not love God and only God like God s people should, but God loved Israel anyway. God loves with a love that never gives up. Hosea gave Israel God s message. He warned them that God was going to judge them for their sin. Hosea pleaded with Israel to turn back to God, to know and love Him. Come, let us return to the Lord, Hosea said. Let us strive to know the Lord. God s people were unfaithful to God, but God is never unfaithful to His people. God said, The number of the Israelites will be like the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or counted. And in the place where they were told: You are not My people, they will be called: Sons of the living God. God was going to punish the people for turning away from Him, but He would keep the promise He made to Abraham. Abraham s family would be a big family, and one day Jesus would come from Abraham s family. Yes, God still loved Israel. God hated their sin, but He loved His people so much that He was going to bring them back to Himself. Just like Hosea paid a high price to get back his wife who did not love him, God had a plan to get His people back no matter what the cost. Christ Connection: Hosea s relationship with Gomer reminds us of God s relationship with the people of Israel and with us. Even though God s people are unfaithful and love other things more than they love God, God still loves us. God sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sin and bring us back to Him. 4

5 Small Group Opening Session Title: Hosea, Prophet to Israel Bible Passage: Hosea 1 14 Big Picture Question: How does Hosea remind us of God? God loves us even when we are unfaithful. Key Passage: Jonah 4:2 Unit Christ Connection: Through these prophets we see a picture of the salvation provided through Jesus Christ. 5 balloons Allergy Alert What Makes It? activity page, 1 per kid pencils LOW PREP Welcome time Arriving Activity: Balloon up Provide each child with an inflated balloon. Make sure to check for any latex allergies. Encourage the kids to hit their balloons into the air and count the number of times they hit it before it touches the ground. Before the session begins, ask who was able to keep the balloon in the air the longest. Say You were asked to do something that is really difficult because you have very little control over what the balloon is going to do. Today, we ll meet a prophet whom God asked to do something even more difficult: to love someone who didn t love him. Activity page (5 minutes) Guide boys and girls to complete the activity page. Say Faith is what is produced by those who trust God, but our faith isn t perfect. Our Bible story today will remind us of that. Session starter (10 minutes) Option 1: Faith challenge Ask for a volunteer to come complete a challenge. Explain the challenge and ask the kids if they believe the volunteer Younger Kids Bible Study Leader Guide Unit 14 Session 2

6 can do it. Whether the kid fails the challenge or completes it, make sure you cheer him on and congratulate him. Here are a few suggestions: run to a wall and back in 5 seconds, stand on one leg for 30 seconds, balance a cup on your head for 30 seconds while walking in a circle, spin around 10 times in 5 seconds, and so forth. Add more challenges if you wish. Before each challenge, ask the kids to vote on whether they believe the volunteer can do it. Say When you chose to believe someone could complete the challenge, you showed faith. You trusted that person. Today, we will find out if God still loves us even when we don t trust Him. tape large sheets of paper markers Option 2: Whom I love relay Form two or more groups. Invite each group s members to line up single file. Tape a start line on the floor and a large sheet of paper on the wall for each group. Make sure the start line for each group is the same distance from the wall. Give the first kid in each line a marker. When you give the signal to go, the first kid in line must race to his team s paper and write the name of someone he loves. It can be someone at church, a family member, friend, or even a pet. After writing the name, the first kid must race back to the line and hand the marker to the next kid who must do the same thing. After the last kid, the first kid goes again. Give the teams two minutes to play. Let them talk about some of the people they chose and why they love them. Say Do you know that if God had a piece of paper like this, your name would be on it? In today s Bible story, we will learn just how much God loved Israel and how much He loves us. Transition to large group 6

7 Large Group LEADER Session Title: Hosea, Prophet to Israel Bible Passage: Hosea 1 14 Big Picture Question: How does Hosea remind us of God? God loves us even when we are unfaithful. Key Passage: Jonah 4:2 Unit Christ Connection: Through these prophets we see a picture of the salvation provided through Jesus Christ. countdown video Countdown Show the countdown video as your kids arrive, and set it to end as large group time begins. telescope Timeline Map Introduce the session (1 minute) [Large group leader enters with a telescope or paper towel tube.] Leader Hello! It s you again. I m glad to see you. I got so caught up in the story of Amos that we didn t make it last time to God s Big Planetarium. The good news is that you don t need a planetarium to see the stars. You just need a dark night without clouds. Have you ever noticed that when you look up into the night sky, the stars look like little twinkling lights? When you look through a telescope though, you see they are much more than that. They are much larger than they appear. Timeline map (1 minute) Leader That reminds me of a story in the Bible you may have never heard about. It seems like a really sad story about a woman who really didn t love her husband, but if you look closer, you will see it is really a story about the 7 Younger Kids Bible Study Leader Guide Unit 14 Session 2

8 greatest kind of love possible. Does anyone remember what we talked about last week? Yes! We learned about a prophet named Amos. Amos was from Judah but God gave him a message to tell Israel. The message was for the people to turn back to worshiping and obeying God. If they didn t listen, God was going to punish them. How does God deal with sin? God is gracious and patient, but He will punish sin. The people of Israel didn t listen, so God sent another prophet. Only this prophet wouldn t just tell people about God s desire for His people not to sin, he would show them God s love. His name was Hosea. Big picture question (1 minute) Leader Like Amos, Hosea was another minor prophet. Why do we call him a minor prophet? We call him a minor prophet because the Book of Hosea isn t very long. You don t need me to tell you this if you have your own copy of God s Word. Who has their Bible today? I hope you don t just have it. I hope you use it every day to find out more about God s plan for people like Amos and Hosea and you and me. That brings us to our big picture question for today. How does Hosea remind us of God? Live Like That song Sing (5 minutes) Leader God wants us to live in such a way that others can see God through our lives. We can t be perfect. That s why Jesus died for our sin. However, when we obey God because we love Him and want to give Him praise, we allow others to see who God really is. Whether at home, in school, or at a sports game, we all need to live like that. Sing together Live Like That. 8

9 Key Passage Slide or Poster I Know song Hosea, Prophet to Israel video Bibles, 1 per kid Bible Story Picture Slide or Poster Key passage (4 minutes) Leader God waited patiently for the people of Israel to realize they loved and needed God. God wanted them to put Him first. Instead, they worshiped gods that didn t exist and they treated others poorly. Jonah, another minor prophet, said this about God. Show the slide or poster of the unit s key passage, Jonah 4:2. Lead the boys and girls to read the verse together. Sing together I Know. Tell the Bible story (10 minutes) Leader Let s open our Bibles to Hosea. Make sure you listen closely so you can answer the big picture question. How does Hosea remind us of God? Show the Hosea, Prophet to Israel video, or choose to tell the Bible story in your own words using the script provided. For a shorter version of the story, read only the bold text. Leader Gomer didn t love Hosea the way she was supposed to. She should have loved him more than any other person, but she didn t. She even ran away from Hosea. Hosea could have been angry and given up on her, but he didn t. Hosea loved her anyway. He loved her kids, even if they weren t his kids. When she was in trouble, he went and saved her. He brought her back home. While this love story seems to be a story about Hosea and Gomer, it s really a story about God and His people. God was going to punish Israel, but that didn t mean He didn t love them. He loved Israel like Hosea loved Gomer. He wanted Israel to love Him back. Like Gomer, they didn t. They loved other gods instead. Their sin would get them in trouble, but God would rescue them. God was reminding Israel that even though they were about to be punished for their sin, He would never forget 9 Younger Kids Bible Study Leader Guide Unit 14 Session 2

10 them. He would always love them. How does Hosea remind us of God? God loves us even when we are unfaithful. Unfaithful means we don t always obey God. Even though we don t always obey Him, God still loves us. He loves us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to die on a cross for our sin. Ask the following questions: 1. Why did Hosea marry Gomer? (God wanted to use Hosea and Gomer as an example of God s relationship with His people, Hosea 1:2) 2. What did the names of Hosea and Gomer s children tell us about? (how God felt about Israel s sin, Hosea 1:4-9) 3. What did Hosea do when Gomer ran away? (He went after her, bought her out of slavery, and brought her home; Hosea 3:2-3) 4. How does Hosea remind us of God? God loves us even when we are unfaithful. 5. What did Jesus do that demonstrates God s love for us? (Jesus died for us even though we are sinners, Romans 5:8) 10 Unit 14 Session 2 discussion starter video Discussion starter video (3 minutes) Leader Sometimes, we are unfaithful to God because we don t always obey. Sometimes the wrong thing looks better than the right thing. Watch this video. Show the Unit 14 Session 2 video. Leader We are blessed to have so many toys, things to do, and places to go that we can easily forget all about God. Have you ever disobeyed God? Have you ever disobeyed your parents? If you ve disobeyed your parents, you have also disobeyed God. The great thing is that our parents don t stop loving us when we disobey. Neither does God.

11 That s the story of Hosea. How does Hosea remind us of God? God loves us even when we are unfaithful. God s love doesn t give us permission to disobey, but it should make us happy to know that when we sin, God still loves us and will forgive us when we repent. The Gospel: God s Plan for Me (optional) Use Scripture and the guide provided with this session to explain to boys and girls how to become a Christian. Assign individuals to meet with kids who have more questions. If this is not possible, encourage boys and girls to ask their parents, small group leaders, or other Christian adults any questions they may have about becoming a Christian. Big Picture Question Slide or Poster Prayer (5 minutes) Show the big picture question slide or poster. Leader So, who can tell me the answer to the big picture question? How does Hosea remind us of God? God loves us even when we are unfaithful. Repeat the big picture question and answer. Add a few motions as you repeat it. Point to your head on the word remind, hug yourself when saying the word love, and show a sad face when saying the word unfaithful. Before transitioning to small group, make any necessary announcements. Lead the kids in prayer. Pray that God will help us always remember that He loves us. Dismiss to small groups 11 Younger Kids Bible Study Leader Guide Unit 14 Session 2

12 The Gospel: God s Plan for Me Ask kids if they have ever heard the word gospel. Clarify that the word gospel means good news. It is the message about Christ, the kingdom of God, and salvation. Use the following guide to share the gospel with kids. God rules. Explain to kids that the Bible tells us God created everything, and He is in charge of everything. Invite a volunteer to read Genesis 1:1 from the Bible. Read Revelation 4:11 or Colossians 1:16-17 aloud and explain what these verses mean. We sinned. Tell kids that since the time of Adam and Eve, everyone has chosen to disobey God. (Romans 3:23) The Bible calls this sin. Because God is holy, God cannot be around sin. Sin separates us from God and deserves God s punishment of death. (Romans 6:23) God provided. Choose a child to read John 3:16 aloud. Say that God sent His Son, Jesus, the perfect solution to our sin problem, to rescue us from the punishment we deserve. It s something we, as sinners, could never earn on our own. Jesus alone saves us. Read and explain Ephesians 2:8-9. Jesus gives. Share with kids that Jesus lived a perfect life, died on the cross for our sins, and rose again. Because Jesus gave up His life for us, we can be welcomed into God s family for eternity. This is the best gift ever! Read Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21; or 1 Peter 3:18. We respond. Tell kids that they can respond to Jesus. Read Romans 10:9-10,13. Review these aspects of our response: Believe in your heart that Jesus alone saves you through what He s already done on the cross. Repent, turning from self and sin to Jesus. Tell God and others that your faith is in Jesus. Offer to talk with any child who is interested in responding to Jesus. 12

13 Small Group LEADER Session Title: Hosea, Prophet to Israel Bible Passage: Hosea 1 14 Big Picture Question: How does Hosea remind us of God? God loves us even when we are unfaithful. Key Passage: Jonah 4:2 Unit Christ Connection: Through these prophets we see a picture of the salvation provided through Jesus Christ. Key Passage Slide or Poster dry erase board and markers (optional) string or yarn red construction paper squares or heart cutouts clothespins timer tape markers Key passage activity (5 minutes) Show the slide or poster of the unit s key passage, Jonah 4:2. Lead the boys and girls to read the verse together. Say God is a forgiving God and a loving God. Our parents punish us when we disobey, but it s not because they don t love us. They punish us so we will make a better decision next time. God is no different. He loved the Israelites so much that He wanted them to make the right decisions. How does Hosea remind us of God? God loves us even when we are unfaithful. God still wants us to worship Him and obey Him. Because He knew we would still sometimes sin, He sent Jesus to take away our sin. We just repent and trust Him. Tape a string or piece of yarn from one wall to another or along one wall. Write one or two words of the key passage on a cutout heart or red paper square. Give each kid one or more of the pieces and a corresponding number of clothespins. Encourage them to clip the words on the string in the correct order of the key passage. Time them and repeat to see if they can do it even faster. 13 Younger Kids Bible Study Leader Guide Unit 14 Session 2

14 14 Bibles, 1 per kid Small Group Visual Pack Big Picture Question Slide or Poster Bible story review (10 minutes) Encourage the kids to find the Book of Hosea in their Bibles. Help them as needed. Say Is Hosea in the Old Testament or the New Testament? (Old Testament) Is it at the beginning of the Old Testament or closer to the end? (closer to the end) Does anyone know which division of the Old Testament Hosea is in? (Minor Prophets) Can any of you name some of the minor prophets? (Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi) Use the small group visual pack to show kids where today s Bible story is on the timeline. Review the Bible story provided using the bold text, or summarize the story in your own words. Invite the kids to form a big circle. Encourage them to turn to the kids on each side of them and give a high five or a hug. Each time the leader sharing the Bible story says the word love, the kids should quickly find another place to stand in the circle and high five or hug the neighbor on each side. Say At first, the message of Hosea seems very sad. Hosea chose to love someone who didn t love him back. God showed Hosea s love as an example of His own love. How does Hosea remind us of God? God loves us even when we are unfaithful. Just like Israel, when we sin, we face consequences. However, God s love saves us from the worst punishment, separation from God. John 3:16 says God loved us, so He sent Jesus. Show the big picture question slide or poster. Say Quick, someone tell me the answer to the big picture question. How does Hosea remind us of God? God loves us even when we are unfaithful.

15 LOW PREP light switch covers, 1 per kid permanent markers stickers or other decorations (optional) journal Journal Page, 1 per kid markers or crayons Bible Story Coloring Page Activity choice (10 minutes) Option 1: Love God actions Choose a volunteer to come to the front of the room and act out a way we can show God we love Him. Ask the volunteer to whisper to you a way he might express love to God. If the kid struggles, give him an action to act out. He may not use words, only actions. Some suggestions are: praying, singing to God, going to church, reading the Bible, helping others, visiting the sick. Give hints when needed. Choose a different volunteer to complete each action. Say Even when we fail to love God, God never stops loving us. That s the real story of Hosea. How does Hosea remind us of God? God loves us even when we are unfaithful. Option 2: Love light switch cover Provide each kid with a light switch cover. These can be purchased at any local hardware store or online in bulk. Encourage the kids to use permanent markers to decorate their light switch covers and write God s love is always on! on the cover. Remind the kids to ask their parents to install the covers. Say You can turn a light switch on and off, but God s love is always on. He loves us no matter what. How does Hosea remind us of God? God loves us even when we are unfaithful. This cover will always be a reminder that God s love is always on. Journal and prayer (5 minutes) Distribute each child s journal and the journal page provided with this session. Instruct the kids to each draw a picture of Hosea and Gomer. Writers can write different ways God shows love for us. 15 Younger Kids Bible Study Leader Guide Unit 14 Session 2

16 Say I hope you realize today how much God loves you. That reminds me, what is the answer to the big picture question? How does Hosea remind us of God? God loves us even when we are unfaithful. Make sure each child puts this week s sheet in the journal, and then collect them. Keep the journals in the classroom so they will be available every week or as often as you wish to use them. If time remains, take prayer requests or allow kids to complete the coloring page provided with this session. Pray, thanking God for His awesome love. Pray for each child by name, asking God to show the kids how they can love Him a little more each day. 16

17 Journal Page Key Passage: Jonah 4:2 Session 1: Amos, Prophet to Israel Amos 1 9 Session 2: Hosea, Prophet to Israel Hosea 1 14 Session 3: Jonah, Prophet to Nineveh Jonah 1 4 Session 4: Joel, Prophet to Judah Joel 1 3 OK to print

18 I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm. Jonah 4:2 Unit 14 Key Passage Poster (NKJV) OK to print

19 I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Jonah 4:2 Unit 14 Key Passage Poster (NIV) OK to print

20 I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. Jonah 4:2 Unit 14 Key Passage Poster (KJV) OK to print

21 I knew that You are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to become angry, rich in faithful love, and One who relents from sending disaster. Jonah 4:2 Unit 14 Key Passage Poster (HCSB) OK to print

22 I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster. Jonah 4:2 Unit 14 Key Passage Poster (ESV) OK to print

23 How does Hosea remind us of God? God loves us even when we are unfaithful. Unit 14 Session 2 Big Picture Question OK to print

24 What Makes It? Instructions: The items on the left produce or make the items on the right. Draw a line to match the item with what makes it. Complete the last word by writing the circled letters in the blanks above the matching pictures. Unit 14 Session 2 Younger Kids Activity Pages

25 Hosea, Prophet to Israel Hosea 1 14

26 Unit 14 Session 2 Hosea, Prophet to Israel OK to print

27

28 Today we will be tasting/ touching/sniffing: Please notify the leader if your child should not participate. Instructions: Print this poster. You may laminate it and reuse it throughout the quarter. Use a dry erase marker to fill in the necessary information. Display the poster where parents and kids can see it before class. UNIT 14 Allergy Alert OK to print

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